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The last decades have seen huge changes in our working lives. The number of women who work after having children has risen significantly, and a growing number of these work full time. The number of women who are the main breadwinner in their families has also increased. This – and other movements towards greater equality, including a focus on the gender pay gap, have driven discussions on work life balance. Women have been talking about these issues for years. But gender equality is not just about women. Gender equality at work depends on gender equality at home.
Workingmums.co.uk has put together a free e-book highlighting how organisations can address the issues dads face in the workplace and what the most progressive employers are doing in this area, including dad to be workshops, simplifying and enhancing Shared Parental Leave, promoting senior role models and moving to agile working.
Poll after poll shows that dads, particularly younger dads, want to spend more time with their families, but face a range of challenges from financial ones to peer pressure and difficulties in challenging stereotypes around flexible working.
Policies such as Shared Parental Leave aim to address norms around who does the childcare from the outset.
Recent surveys have focused on changing family dynamics. Working Families’ Modern Families Index 2018 shows similar numbers of men and women have stalled their careers to get a better work life balance and that 51% of fathers said that they dropped their children off more than half the time, rising to 61% for millennial dads.
However, the Index also shows the norm is still that dads work full time while mums work part time. Part of the problem is attitudes to dads working reduced hours.
A recent Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into fathers and the workplace called for reforms in workplace policies so they meet the needs of today’s families and better support working dads in caring for their children.